You wouldn’t believe it, but Japan Airlines is taking delivery of their very first Airbus. Since the airline was founded in 1951, it has almost exclusively operated a fleet built in the United States.

This stranglehold is now broken, as the first Airbus A350-900 has been delivered to the Japanese carrier. This is the first of 18 on order, with another 13 Airbus A350-1000s also on the books.

First Airbus for Japan Airlines

Purists will point out that Japan Airlines did operate the Airbus A300-600R for a period of five years. Japan Air Systems operated these aircraft, so as an inherited product, they don’t really count.

JAL was a big customer of Douglas aircraft, with virtually every long haul product available being purchased. This makes the new Airbus delivery a particularly big event.

Passengers will be able to fly the new Airbus A350 from September, when it starts flying from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka. It features three classes with 12 First Class, 94 Business and 263 Economy seats.

The oneworld alliance carrier has gone from strength to strength since respected businessman Kazuo Inamori led the airline through its restructure from 2010. It has been consistently profitable since.

Overall Thoughts

It is great to see Japan Airlines take delivery of their first Airbus. Passengers will certainly enjoy flying on board the latest design in the sky.

From all reports, JAL provide an excellent on board service with typical Japanese hospitality. They are an airline I am very much looking forward to flying sometime in the future. All I need to do is find a decent business class ticket from Europe to Australia and I’d be on board in a heartbeat!

Have you flown with Japan Airlines before? What do you think of them taking delivery of their first Airbus? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Images by A. Doumenjou of Master Films via Airbus.